Dear Airleaf/Jones Harvest Victims and Friends,
First, allow me to wish all of you a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday. I wanted to share some important news with you as I continue to seek justice for our group.
1. Some of you have written to me over the years to tell me that your books were still listed on places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I couldn’t understand that since Airleaf has been out of business since 2006. Of course, Amazon doesn’t feel the need to answer this question from anyone—including me. I’ve contacted their legal department in the past with no response. So when another author recently contacted me about the dilemma, I decided to check it out.
Here is what my research showed. Some of the books published by Airleaf are still listed on Amazon and other outlets as available for order. One such book posted on Amazon said that 3 of the Airleaf copies were still available. The author never republished after Airleaf. Out of curiosity, I ordered one copy and the author ordered one copy. Now one copy was listed as remaining on the Amazon site. We both received our copies from Amazon several days after the order was made. Now the question is this: Who gets the royalties from the sales? To the best of my knowledge, I believe that Carl Lau is getting the royalties.
Why? My publisher, Paul Rabinovitch from CCB Publishing, explained that publishers have contracts with printers, distributors, retailers, etc., including Amazon and/or one of their subsidiaries. Just because Airleaf is out of business doesn’t necessarily mean that the contract with Amazon or the other outlets like Barnes and Noble was ever broken with Carl Lau, as long as Airleaf’s accounts are in good standing with these companies.
Some of you sent me your concerns that Amazon is reprinting your book and selling it. I don’t believe this to be true. I think that any of the few copies that are listed as “available” are the copies Airleaf provided them that were stored in their inventory. Two of our authors worked on this experiment with me. Once we bought the few available copies on Amazon, no more were listed. In fact, at the suggestion of my publisher, Paul from CCB, I called Amazon on two different occasions trying to reorder eight copies of those specific books for a book club meeting. Amazon’s Customer Service tried their best to reorder the books, but by the end of their research, they told me that the books would not be available any time in the near future. They stated if they would become available, they would notify me. So it appears that the last of the Airleaf inventory is being sold off and then the books will be unavailable unless you republish them.
Even so, I am really trying to get a handle on this because something is wrong. Here’s what I am asking you to do if you published with Airleaf or Bookman, Airleaf’s previous name. Please go to Amazon.com and check whether or not you are able to buy a copy of your book. If you haven’t republished, check if Amazon has any copies available for purchase. Even if you have republished, check and see if the original Airleaf version is still listed and available for sale. Unless you notify Amazon that you want the Airleaf or Bookman version removed from their website, chances are it is still listed by both Airleaf and your new publisher. If any of your Airleaf or Bookman books are available through Amazon, please order one copy and see if it arrives. As soon as you get confirmation, please forward the message to me or email me when you receive the book so I can begin a paper trail to see if Airleaf books are still selling. If they are, someone is getting the royalties—and it is not you.
I don’t believe there are many Airleaf books left in stock, but even if there is one, the money should not be going to Carl Lau. I have asked a lawyer friend of mine to contact Amazon once I compile this information, and he has agreed to do that on our behalf. Hopefully we will finally be able to find out who is getting your royalties. Please write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com after you check your book and if it is still listed on Amazon. I’m hoping we can resolve this before the spring.
2. It really does bother me that crooks who stole so much money from us are able to keep going through life without any real accountability. For instance, Carl Lau destroyed the so many of our authors through his fraudulence, and yet he goes unpunished. In fact, he is working in a Finance Company in Indiana called Royal United Mortgage. A Finance Company—playing with people’s money. Can you believe it?
When I learned this information several months ago from one of Lau’s relatives who contacted me in disgust after reading my website, I sent a letter to his boss. This is what it said:
Dear Mr. Royal,
It recently came to my attention that you are employing Carl Lau, former owner and operator of Airleaf Publishing in Martinsville, Indiana. As the leader of over 600 members of our group, Airleaf Victims, who were defrauded in figures reaching nearly three million dollars in one of the largest publishing scams in this country, I find it disturbing that your organization that uses the word "Integrity" in your advertising would allow Mr. Lau to be part of its team.
In fact, I find it very frightening to think that you would have a man handling your mortgages in view of the attention that predatory lending has received in recent years. I would like to think that employees in this position actually did have "integrity."
Mr. Royal, please read my site at www.AirleafVictims.com. If you do a minimal amount of research, you will find the judgment from two years ago that the government of Indiana handed down on behalf of the claims of a small segment of our authors for over $325,000.00. Because of the immense number of victims, the government had to set a window to limit the claims, so less than 15% of those who requested a refund were part of the judgment. Sadly, none of us who were rewarded compensation by the Attorney General’s office received one penny because Mr. Lau declared bankruptcy to avoid paying us the money he took from us for fraudulent services and book royalties. Even after the judgment was handed down, Mr. Lau continued to receive royalties from our hard work and kept it for himself.
This also leads us to wonder if your organization did a basic background check of Mr. Lau. If you did, you would have found that he was in bankruptcy in addition to having a government judgment against him. If you wish, you can contact the Assistant Attorney General's office and ask for Tom Irons who spearheaded the case. After I hear back from you, I will notify him of Mr. Lau's employment. You can reach him at Tom.Irons@atg.in.gov in case you have any doubts.
I am surprised that a company that has "integrity" would allow a crook of this magnitude to work for it.
My organization would appreciate a response from you as to why your company thinks that a man who has robbed the most vulnerable of vulnerable--elderly, disabled, religious leaders, and poor people who invested every penny they saved for a dream that turned into a nightmare--should be trusted to work with other people, many who are in the same position as we were. I would to give you an opportunity to respond before making this public.
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.
Organizer, Airleaf Victims
I did send the letter twice. And of course, I received no response. However, at least you can now know where Carl Lau is working. And if you’d like to speak to him directly, feel free to call him there. The phone number is: (317) 664-7700 x7941. I’m sure he’d be happy to hear from you. Or you can feel free to email the director of the company who hired him, Craig Royal, at: Craig.Royal@royalunitedmortgage.com. Maybe if Mr. Royal hears from enough of our members about his employee, he’ll do something about it.
3. How is it when con-men in this business like Brien Jones go out of business, he can still continue to cheat his authors? Unbelievable, isn’t it? Well, it seems like con men always find partners, especially in the state of Indiana where government views “fraudulence” as “bad business practices” rather than a crime.
Authors first were sent a letter by Brien Jones several weeks ago bemoaning his “hard luck” in the publishing industry. To special “friends,” he sent this letter, making each of them think they were getting some special personalized letter—which they weren’t. Everyone I know who had any contact with Jones has received this with the name and the book title being the only thing that is “personalized.” Here it goes:
Enclosed is the letter we sent to all of Jones Harvest Publishing authors and vendors. Unlike some of those folks you were always a friend and supporter, and you deserve an explanation as well as my advice on where to go from here.
Six months before we closed I sent a long letter explaining the huge challenges we faced selling books and asking for suggestions.
The short version is bookstores didn’t pay when they ordered our books. JHP had to pay to ship books with an invoice. That was after we paid to print the books. If a store ordered a copy of _________________, they paid nothing. But I had to pay to print and ship the book.
If the bookstore ever paid they sent a check of 50%, but didn’t send that check to us. They sent that check to Baker & Taylor. Later B&T would send us a check for 40%. That was the best case scenario. More often we just received the front cover (stripped off to prove the book was unsold) often over a year later. I didn’t receive any suggestions.
That was with a Jones Harvest Publishing book. Getting even that far with a book from Authorhouse, Infinity or Vantage Press was impossible. When I said Xlibris I heard ‘click.’ Yet even against those odds, I tried to sell __________________ and the rest every way possible—more ways than you ever heard about. As with 99% of our titles I failed. It’s hard. And if you ever try selling somebody else’s book (or even your own) to bookstores you’ll find it’s also unpleasant.
By 2010 I spent half my day listening to bookstores hang up on me and the other half listening to authors that paid $950 to publish (usually less than we spent on the print run) complain about lack of sales. I have to admit I don’t feel very bad about giving up on some of those clients.
I do feel bad about you. You were one of the few that even acknowledged our website was free of vanity publishing information or that we had a bookstore. Most of our clients never noticed. I kept on trying anyway. The in 2011Borders closed 275 stores. Limping along and hoping was no longer possible.
To be a success in the self-publishing industry I would have to change everything. To survive I would have to be like all the rest and focus on selling authors their own books. That’s when I made an important discovery. I don’t want to be a success in vanity publishing.
I wish I could suggest another publisher that’s selling books, has a bookstore or even a website designed for that purpose. There aren’t any. The only subsidy, self or print-on-demand publishing companies with any promotion services are the same ones we’ve all known for years. They’re now offering “publicity” and “promotions” at appalling prices.
However, in my own search for a publisher, I concluded the best choice for you is Accurance, a company I’ve known about for a long time. I sent my books to them because:
1. They aren’t going out of business. They’ve been around since 1999 and growing.
2. Amost all books they produce are for other publishing companies—you’ve heard of most of them. It’s likely the publisher you choose uses Accurance for their production work (editing, book covers, typesetting/formatting, and conversion to eBook). Therefore you can cut out the middle man which takes us to price.
3. JHP could not survive charging $950 to publish because we were never POD. We always did print runs. Yet Accurance offers everything (for publishers) for $899. This is possible because of volume. They actually have a program for authors left in a lurch, because their publisher closed. (It’s not just JHP, there are many more with others to follow.) They have agreed to publish our books for $850.
4. They also answer the phone, or call you back quickly. They answer emails usually within minutes, at most hours. Most of the other companies I called answered electronically and sent me to someone’s voicemail.
There are plenty of companies out there promising the moon for $999 (but calling you from overseas.) I wanted the whole package including Kindle and REAL BOOKS with no surprises. My recommendation is Accurance. THE JHP bookselling plan didn’t work. But I would feel much better knowing you are receiving real books with good pricing, integrity, and stability.
To your books as fast as possible and at wholesale prices call Bill Earle, Author Partner Project Manager at Accurance at 1-727-550-6258. I have already transferred files for my books to them and can do the same for you.
I hope you have no hard feelings. I’m not walking away with a boat or an airplane (or even our house) and I truly tried. I hope you keep writing and trying to.
Let me say I found this letter—well—hysterical and pathetic and somewhat sociopathic as Brien Jones truly is. It was filled with lies and gross exaggerations for sure. But I will discuss that in my next update in the near future. For now, this is a WARNING to anyone who actually might be foolish enough to get burned one more time by the master of con.
But first, let me share with you the follow up letter that most of you have received by now from Accurance, the only company that Brien Jones trusts which has “republished” his books about the scary pumpkin and the crooked Vanity Publisher based on his own life story.
Accurance’s Bill Earle sent this letter to the list of Jones authors:
Hello! I wanted to touch base and introduce myself, Bill Earle if Accurance, Inc., since I was mentioned in the letter you should have received from Brien Jones. We are happy to be able to step in and offer our years of expertise to you for your current book that was published and future books. We have been around a long time and we aren't going anywhere.
Right now, we are concentrating everything on the Jones authors who were published with Jones. Those ISBNs are dead now so those books are no longer for sale. Even if sales were poor in the past for whatever reason, you don't have a chance at even one now.
Our Jones Publishing Package, is fast, high quality, as affordable as is possible, and most importantly - complete. Right now, the book you had published with Jones is no longer valid. The ISBN from Jones for your book is a dead account. We are honored to be able to offer you the fastest way back to the market for just $849 as Brien's letter stated:
1. We will revise your cover and interior - and that means as many revisions as you want or as few as changing the "Published by"
2. set up a new publishing account with Lulu.com
3. purchase your new ISBN
4. upload your new files
5. order and ship a proof copy to you
6. purchase and set up your new GlobalReach distribution to the Ingram database of all titles for sale - fresh to the market with a new ISBN and a new look in some cases.
We will also purchase and ship to you 9 more copies of your book at the end of the process before we turn over your new POD publishing account to you to monitor future sales and always order as few or as many copies of your own book at cost. It also all comes with expanded free revision cycles and unlimited email and phone support.
This package is not available on our website for obvious reasons. To purchase now simply go to our Misc. Services web page at :
http://accurance.com/index.php?go=services&goto=author&gotogo=authmiscservice and add to cart 849 units - they will be billed to your credit card of PayPal at $1 per unit. As soon as the purchase (always completely guaranteed) is made you will receive an introductory email from me with everything you need to know. Then, you can sit back and let us get you back in the book selling business the best way in the world we know how, at a price only available to you.
I will of course get back to calling you back as well.
your author partner
With the directions from Bill Earle, I did go to the link in his letter which led me to the Accurance website page where you can purchase the 849 units for $849.00. But then I took a moment to explore the rest of the website which led me to the page called “Author Services.” It was quite interesting seeing the pricing for authors who weren’t getting the special Jones Harvest deal.
Here is the irony of the special “Jones Harvest” pack.
Here are the the prices for the non-Jones Harvest author services:
Publishing Set Up Package $249
For the author who has viable, print-ready PDF files who needs set up with a POD publisher for worldwide print distribution (includes ISBN & Proof Copy). Your files will be uploaded, your ISBN will be purchased, you will receive a proof copy for final approval, and be distributed on the worldwide database serving potential buyers at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and many others.
Book Cover Creation - $199
For the author who needs just the book cover (front/back/spin) designed. You will received a print-ready PDF cover file. Package includes three (3) revision cycles until your cover is perfect for you.
There is even this deluxe package:
The Whole Nine Yards Package - $799
Mechanical Editing/Interior Formatting/Custom Cover Design/Print Publishing/Distribution
Wow—editing your book and the rest of the whole nine yards. And here’s another great deal:
Ready-To-Sell Package & eCombo Package - $799
Interior Formatting/Custom Cover Design/Print Publishing/Distribution/eBook Conversion & Distribution
So let me see if I understand this. Accurance is getting the “viable, print-ready PDF files” from Brien Jones. According to their website, this is the Publishing Set-up Package they are offering for $249.00. If you decide to use them to redesign your book cover, the Book Cover Creation would cost $199.00. And that’s only if you want to have your cover redesigned. Otherwise, you can take off that charge. Okay—even if you want the book cover, that adds up to $448.00. Now, add in 9 additional copies at print cost—that’s approximately $36.00. So now we’re looking at less than $500.00 for the same services that Jones customers are charged $849.00. Hmmmm….
It gets even better. If you want the Ready-to-Sell Package & eCombo Package according to their website, this will cost $799.00. And that includes all the wonderful services of the Publishing Set-Up package, the Cover Design package, and the eBook package—all for less than the Jones Harvest Package. And even if you throw in the 9 extra books for $36.00, you’re still spending less than that special rate for the Jones Harvest package.
And guess what—if you take this route, you don’t have a publisher. Accurance isn’t a publisher—it’s a set-up company that brokers you out to companies like Lulu where you are your own publisher.
Anyway, even before I did the math when I first learned of this new alliance between Accurance and King Con, I wrote Bill Earle a note:
December 9, 2011
Dear Mr. Earle,
Since we haven't met before, I did want to let you know that if you have developed any type of positive reputation for your company, you should think about how it will be affected now that you are working with Brien Jones. In case you’re not aware, Mr. Jones is under criminal investigation by various government agencies for fraudulent practices against authors. Since it didn’t faze him about screwing hundreds of people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’m not quite sure why you would want your name tarnished by being associated with him, but that’s your decision.
Please be aware that when I send out my update to over 600 Airleaf Victims and over 100 Jones Harvest victims, I will be mentioning your connection. Don’t expect great things to happen for you or your company because of that. I would really reconsider your relationship with him because it will really be a losing one for you and your company.
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.
To date, I have received no response. Please, do not allow yourselves to become a victim one more time. For some of you, it has happened more than once. Remember—anything associated with Brien Jones will take bring you to a dark place where you don’t want to go. Don’t fall into this pit hole again.
Well, you will be hearing from me soon again with updated news. We are not done yet. With your help, we will continue to be VICTORS and not VICTIMS!
I wish you all the happiest and healthiest of all New Years.